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Daily national era. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1854, January 03, 1854, Image 1

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"Nothing,
nswered W
eon says tfal
Vait'a girt*
ialf-adotea
'The old Jei
(he next tic
blister her fi
it going?"
"Theaoh<
" What, fi
borne went
fbe Daily Nat,
gt mid contain*
,ngrei"8 up to ti
The Oflico of
teen D and E.
lily papor*-for
no square, (
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do
Do.
Do
A liberal di
koto wlio advi
liutfM
to.
do.
mMJ"
.Hf? i* publiahed every even
report* of the proceeding* of
i o.'ttlvclc.
iiou is ou Sevonth atrcet, be
it montha - - . $5.00
tihug in Daily.
one iuaertion . . - $0 60
three inaortiona - ? 1.00
onoweok .... 1.50
two weoka . - . . 2. Ml
one month .... 4 00
two montha - . . . fi.oo
three montha ... 8 00
long advertiaeinents, and to
1 longer time.
i'rojN, p. c.
Natinul In.
FROM
MY SUMMER WlTHJlR. SINGLETARY."
Chap. VL
THE SKIPPER'S STORY.
"Well, what's tsUe news below?" asked the
loo tor, of his bouaekeopcr, m she came home
am a gossipping visit to the landing, one after
loon. "Whatnew piece of aoandal in afloat
ow?" HH
what oonoerns yourself"
Watson, tartly. "Mrs. Nu
ve been to me her neighbor
.,t's sick with the measloe
and never bo maoh as left a
and she should like to
's goml for without physio.
ituit Brown's wife would
'd minded her, and let her
mgh wort tea, and pat a
of her itomach."
would be the beet thing for
with a wicked grimace.
Let her look out for herself
gets the rheumatism; I'll
to heel. But what elm
Polly Piko is at the landing."
lor ? The one Tom Os
I met Tom down street."
Doctor, witb emphasis.
.. ? )*borno's pruyera are answered,
will <eeher son bo Core she dies."
kQd preoioua little good will it do her," said
th* housekeeper. " There's not a more drunk
en, sw?ario& rake shame in town, than Tom
Osborne."
"It's too trui\" responded the Dootor; "but
he's her only son. and you know, Mrs. Watson.
I the heart of pother."
The widow's hard face softened?a tender
?Oadow passed over it?the memory of some
Old bereavement melted her; and as she pawn
ed iite the house, I saw her put her oheoked
apron to her eyes.
By this time, Skipper Evans, who had been
?lowly working his way up street for Bome min
?Us, had reached the gate.
"Look hare," said he, " here's a letter that
\ by the Polly Pike, from one of your old
, that you gave over for a dead man
* From the other world, of course," said the
??I
t exeotly, though it's from Labrador,
fthfi last pi .toe the Lord made, I
Dick Wilson'"
"Sartain," said the Skipper
1 he ? "
[kicking! I tell yon what, Doc
and blistering are all well
m; but if you want to set a fel
. he's kinder run down, there's
t fishing trip to Labrador, epecial
I bothering himself with studying
?och like. There's nothing
, hard hunks, and sea fog, to
ioutofhim. Now this ohap,"
i gave me a poke in the ribs,
_?iation,) "if I oould have him
1 beyond sunset, for two or throe
come back as hearty as a Bay
I would like to try the
j him as skipper, I begged
history of the case he had spo
The oM fisherman smiled complaoently, hitch
loooa, took a seat beside us, and,
9 a jack knifi' from one pocket,
I >f tobaooo from the other, and do
plying himself with a fresh quid,
, apologetically, that he supposed
heard it all before.
f timf i," said the Doetor; 44 but,
a good storv yet. , flo ahead,
?aid the Skipper, "this
iM down here from Hannover
f m, aj lean as a shad in dog
studied himself half-blind, and
got into brains. So the Doo
him with his potioary stuff,
with her h.. Im, but all did
I somebody advised him to
down East, and *o he per
him aboard my eobooner. I
in the wuy, and poor oom
for all his (Jreek and Latin;
thing, I've noticed that yonr
rap away their eomm>u sense
and make a mighty poor bar
l, he brought hie hooks with
10 them ao olotis that I wax
,ve to slide him off the plank
way to LaHr *dor. 80 I just
that it wouldn't d >, and that
1 kill himself ashore I'd no ob
In't do it aboard my
e'en jest a mind,' Rays I, ' to
overboard A Ashing-vessel's
_j; they'll spot I all our leek,
'king a Jonah of yourself down
, but get upon deck, and let
and go to watahing the sea
the inlands and the fog
and the Mrds, for natnr,' ;
1 give hearstys, hut is al
the Gospels.'
nee talking. There he'd lay
_ his books about him, and I
to drag him on deck to snuff
?, ono day?it was the
meon?after we left the
. _ running down the Out
sight of the (Jennet roeks.
I'll show him something
in bis htbdM. Ho I goes
'j and when he got on
and if
DAILY_ NATIONAL ERA^ j
G. BAILEY, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
VOL. I. WASHINGTON, D. C., TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 1854. ' ' NO. 2.
ever I saw a chap wonder-struok, be was. Right
ahead of us was a bold, rooky islaud, with what
looked like a great snow-bank on its southern
?lope; while tha air was full overhead, and all
about, of what seemed a heavy fall of snow.
The day wan blazing hot, and there wasu't a
cloud to be aeen. ' What in the world, Skipper,
does this mean ?' Bay* he. 'We're Bailing right
into a snow storm, in dog-dayn and in a clear
aky!' By this time we had got near enough
to hear a great rushing noise in the air, every
moment growing louder and louder.
? ?It's only a storm of gannets,' says I.
"'Sure enough!' says he, 'but I wouldn't
have believed it possible.'
" When we got fairly off against tho inland,
I fired a gun at it, and such a fluttering and
screaming you oan't imagine. The great snow
banks shook, trembled, loosened, and became
all alive, whirling away into theuir like drifts
in a nor'wester. Millions of birds went up,
wheeling and zigzagging about, their white
bodies and black-tipped wings orosaing and Te
orossing, nd mixing together into a thick gray
ish-white haze above us.
" ' You're right, Skipper,' nays Wilson to
me, "Nature is better than books.'
"And from that time ho was on deok as
much as his health would allow olj and took a
deal of notioe of everything new and uncom
mon. But, for all that, the poor fellow was so
siok and pale and peaking, that we all thought
we should have to heave him overboard some
day, or bury him in Labrador moss."
" But he didn't die after all, did he V said I.
" Die, no!" cried the Skipper, " not he!"
" And so your fishing voyage really cured
him?"
" ( oan't say as it did, exactly," returned the
Skipper, shifting his quid from one cheek to the
other, with a sly wink at the Doctor. " The
fact is, after the doctor* and the old herb
women had given him up at home, he got oured
by a little black-eyed Fronch girl on the Labra
dor coast."
"A very agreeable prescription, no doubt,"
quoth the Itootor, turning to me. " How do
you think it would suit your case 1 "
" It doesn't become the patient to chooee his
own nostrums," Haid I, laughing. " But I won
der, Dootor, that you haven't long ago tested
the value of this by an experiment upon your
self!"
"Physioians are proverbially shy of their
own medioines," said he.
u Well, you see," continued the Skipper, " we
had a rough run down the Labrador shore,
rain-storms and fogs so thiok you oould out
'em up into junks with your jack-knife. At
last, we reached a small fishing station away
down where the sun doesn't sleep in summer,
but just takes a bit of a nap at midnight Here
Wilson went ashore, more dead than alive, and
found comfortable lodgings with a little, dingy,
French oil merohant, who had a snug, warm
house, and a garden patch, where he raisod a
few potatoes and turnips in the short summers,
and a tolerable field of grass which kept his
two oows alive through the winter. The coun
try all about was dismal enough; as far aB
you oould seo, there was nothing but moss and
rooks and bare hills and ponds of shallow wa
ter, with now and then a pfttoh of stunted lira
But it doubtless looked pleasant to our poor
sick passenger, who for some days hail lieen
longing for land. The Frenchman gave him
a neat little room, looking out on the harbor,
all alive with fishermen, and Indians hunting
sea's; and, to my notion, no plaoe is very dull
where you oan see the salt-water and the ships
at anohor on it, or scudding over it with sails
set in a stiff breeze, and where you can watoh
its changes of lights and colors in fair and foul
weather, morning and night. The family was
mads up of the Frenchman, his wife, and his
daughter, a little witch of a girl, with bright,
black eye4, lighting up her brown, good-natur
ed face like lamps in a binnacle. They all
took a mighty liking to young Wilson, and
were ready to do anything for him. He was
won able to walk abont, and we used to see
him with the Frenchman's daughter strolling
along the shore and among the moavs, talking
with her in her own language. Many and
many a time, as we sat in oar boats under the
rocks, we could hear her merry laugh ringing
down to us.
" We staid at the station about three weeks,
and when we got ready to sail I oalled at the
Frenchman's to let Wilson know when to
oome aboard He really seemed sorry to leave}
finr the two old people urgod him remain with
them, and poor little Lucille wouldn't hear a
word of his going. She said be would be sick
and die on board the vessel, but that if he staid
with them he would soon bo well and strong;
that they should have plenty of milk and eggs
f.?r him the winter; and he should ride in the
dog sledge with her; and she would take care
of hius as if he was her brother. She hid hie
cap and great-ouat, and what with crying and
scolding and ooaiing, she fairly carried her
point.
" ? Yon see I'm a prisoner,' says he, 4 they
won't let me go.'
44' Well,' says I, 'yon don't seem to bo
troubled about it. I tell you what young
man,' says I, 'it's mighty pretty now to stroll
round here, and pick mosses and hunt bird s
eggs with that gal, but wait till November
oomes, and everything freeses up stiff and dead
eioept white bears and Ingens, and there's no
daylight left to speak of, and you'll be sick
enough of your choice. Yon won't live the
winter out; and it's an awful place to die in,
Where the ground freezes so hard that they
can't bury yon.'
41' Lneille says/ says he, 1 that (rod is as near
ns in the winter as the summer. The fact i^
Skipper, I've no nearer relative left in the States
than a married brother, who thinks more of
his family and business than of me ; and if it
is O.rf's will that I shall die, I may as well
wait His call here as anywhere. I have ftwnnd
kind friends here; they will do all they oan for
me; and for the r?*t, I trust Providence.'
? Lucille begged that I would let him ?tay,
for she said God wonld hear her prayers, and
he would get well. I told her I wouldn't orge
him any more; for if I was as young as he was,
aid had ??oh a pretty nuree^to take oare of
m>, I should bo willing to winter at the North
Pole. Wilson gave me a letter for his brother, |
and we shook hands, and I left him. When
we were getting under weigh, he and Lucille
stood on the landing-place, and I hailed him
for the last time, and made signs of sonding I
tho boat for him. The little French girl un
derstood me; she shook her head, and pointed
to her father's house, and then they both turned
back, now and then stopping to wave their
handkerohiefs to us. I felt sorry to leave him
there ; but for the life of me I couldn't blame
him."
" I'm sure / don't," said the Dootor."
? Well, next year I wa at Nitisquam har
bor, and, although I wua doing pretty, well in
the way of fishing, I couldn't feel easy without
running away north to Brador, to see what had
become of my sick passenger. It was rathor
early in the season, and there was ice still in
the harbor; but we managed to work in at
last; when, who should I seo on shore but
young Wilson, so stout and hearty that 1 should
scarcely have Known him. He took me up to
his lodgings, and told me that he had never
spent a happier winter; that he was well and
strong, and could fish and hunt like a native;
that ho was now a partner with the French
man in trade, and only waited the ooroing of
the priest from tho Magdalenes, on his yearly (
visit to the settlements, to marry his daughter.
Luoille was as pretty, merry, and happy, as
ever, and the old Frenchman and his wile
seemed to love Wilson as if ho was their son.
I've never seen him since; but he now writes
me that he is married, and has prospered in
health and property, and thinks Labrador
would be the finest country in the world, if it
only had heavy Umber trees."
" One oannot but admire," said the Doctor,
?that wiso and beneficent ordination of Provi
dence, whereby the spirit of man asserts its
power over circumstances, moulding the rough
forms of matter to its fine ideal, bringing har
mony out of. discord, ooloring, warming, and
lighting up everything within the oircle of its
horixon. A living heart carries with it, under
every parallel of latitude, the warmth and light
of the tropica It plants its Kden in the wil
derness and solitary place, and bows with flow
ers the gray desolation of rocks and mosses.
Wherever love goes, there springs the true
heart"* ease, rooting itself even in the Polar
ioea. To tho young invalid of tho Skipper's
Story, the dreary waste of what Moore oalls,
as you remember,
" The diimtl rtiors
Of cold and pitiless Labrador,"
looked beautiful and inviting, for he saw it
softened and irradiated in an atmosphere ol
love Its bare hills, bleak rooks, and misty sky,
wero but the letting and background of the
sweetest picture in the gallery of life. Apart
from this, however, in Labrador, as in every
conceivable locality, the arils of soil and cli
mate have their compensations and alleviations.
The long nights of winter are brilliant with
moonlight, and the ohanging oolort of the
Northern lights are reflected on the snow. The
summer of Labrador has a beauty of its own.
far unlike that of more genial climates, but
whioh its inhabitants would not forego for the
warm life and lavinh luxuriance of tropioal
landscape* The dwarf fir-trees throw from
the ends of their branches yellow tufts of sta
mina, like small 1 imps docorating green pyra
mid*, f.?r the festival of spring; and if green
grafs is in a great measure wanting, its place
is supplied by delicate mosses, of the most bril
liant oolors. The truth is, every season and
olimate has its peculiar beauties and comforts;
the footprints of the good and merciful God are
fonnd everywhere; and we should be willing,
thankfully, to own that * He has made all things
beautiful in their time,' if we were not a race
of envious, selfish, ungrateful grumblers '
" Dootor! Dootor!" cried a ragged, dirty
faced boy, running, breathless, into the yard.
? What's the matter, my lad ? " said the
Dootor.
? Mother wants yon to come right over to
our house Father's tumbled off tho hay cart,
and when they got him up, ho didn't know
nothing; but they gin him some rum, and that
kinder brought him to.''
u n0 doubt, no doubt! " said the Doctor,
rising togo. " Similia simihbus curantur. Noth
ing like hair of the dog that bites you."
" The Doctor talks well," the Skipper,
who had listened rather dubiously to his friend's
commentaries on his story, "but he carries too
much sail for mo, sometime*, and I oan t ex
actly keep alongside of him. I told Klder Sta
ples. <?ioe, that I didn't see but that the Doctor
could beat him at preaching 'Very likely,'
says the F.lder, says hs ; for you know, Skip
per, I must stick to my text; but the Doctor's
Bible is all oreation.' "
MB N0RRI8 AHD TTTE HIOHKB LAW
Some Whig newspapers arc greatly exorcis
ed by tlio following aontenee in the reoent eu
logy ?f Mr. Norri*, in the Senate, upon bin late
colleague, Mr. Athertoii:
" He acknowledged no practical law higher
or more sacred for hi? rule of cotodiiot here than
that aacred instrument which we are all nworn
to aupport."
The? fay it waa a peraonal reflection upon
the |x?litical ethic* of Mr. Seward Wo do not
know whf t were Mr. Norria'a intenliona in pro
nouncing ao admirable a sentiment; hnt sup
posing he did intend to reprove all men who
entertain and avow such pestilent heretics,
what then!? fVtuk. Union.
The most malignant enemiea of Mr. Ather
ton oonld aay nothing worae of him than this
saying of Mr. Noma, if it he true, Mr. Ather
ton wm an Athoint, and died aa the fool dieth.
and the Union, in aanctiooing the aontiment ?n
"admirable," is in tho same condemnation.
The iifrumption in, that man is greater than
God; that Human Law, whatever it may lie, id
above the Law of Nature and of God; that the
only standard of oonduot for an Amerioau cit
izen is tho will of a majority, us embodied in
tho form of Law or Constitution. Suob miser
able and impious nonueriHo scarcely deserves a
word <-f comment.
AHIfiTAD CLAIM.
History of the Case ; Decision of the Judiciary;
Connty of the various Departments >y Gov
ernment; Construction of Treaties; Law oj
Nations ; Natural Rights of Persons; Duty
of All to Sustain the Doctrines on which our
Government was Founded.
SPEECH OP MR, GIDDINGS,*
Delivkred in Committee or tiik Whole
HOUSE ON THE PRESIDENT'S MtNHAUE, DE
CEMBER 21, 1853.
Mr. Chairman: 1 lino to call tho attention
of this body and of the country to that portion
of the President's Message which recommends
to our favorable consideration the claims of cer
tain Cubau slave-dealers. They profess to have
owned tho people on board tho schooner Amis
tad, who, by their own valor, regained their
freedom in 1839. The President desires that
wo shall make the necessary appropriation to,
pay the slavo merchants for the loss of their
contemplated profits.
Mr. Bayly. The gentleman is correct, and
the Committee on Foreign Affair* will report a
bill for that purpose.
Mr. Giddings, (resuming.) I thank tho
gentleman for this open avowal of the inten
tions of his committee. We may always look
to slaveholders for a frank declaration of scu
timents and intentions It is only the dough
faces ot the North who hide behind false isuuca,
and keep out of sight until kicked into view.
[Laughter.]
The proposition of ihe President is important.
It involves the observance of our most solemn
treaty stipulations, which bind ns to exert our
influence to abolish the slave trade rather than
to uphold and encourage it; it involves our na
tional honor and the welfare of our raoe.
Sir, as early as 1817 Spain took upon herself
the most solemn obligations to abolish this
slave trade. This obligation was oontained in
her treaty with Groat Britain of that year.
In |>erfeet good faith, the Crown of Spain,
by its decretal order, i.-sued soon after, declared
the slave trade altolishod throughout her do
minions, including her Colonial possesions;
and aasertcd tho freedom of all Afrieaus who
should be thereafter imported into any of her
National or Colonial [torts. Our own Govern
ment had, from its commencement, expressed
its abhorrence of that traffic. Soon alter the
adoption of our Constitution, Congress passed
laws so far as authorized to modify it* charao
tor, and, as soon as permitted by the Constitu
tion, they prohibited it under severe penalties.
Indeed, we havo declared it piracy, and hang
the Americans engaged in it, as unfit for hu
man association.
By the 10th article of our treaty at Ghent,
we declared the slave trade to bo "irreconcila
ble with the principle* of humanity;" and we
stipulated with Great Britain to exert our in
fluence and power to eradicate from the earth
this Mexeorabls commerce in human flesh;"
and we now sustain a maritime force on the Af
rican ooast, at an annual ex [tense of from two to
throe millions of dollars, with the avowed in
tention to destroy forever this nefarious traffic
France, too, has long exerted her influence to
attain this hamanc object; and the civilised
nations of the earth stand pledged to the joiri
fioation of our race from a traffic so abhorrent
to every fooling ol our nature.
While those four great Powers, which I have
mentioned, were thus solemnly committed to
this poliey, while the Christian world held
this flave trade in unutterable abhorrence, cer
tain Cuban slave dealers oontinued to violate
the laws and treaties of their own Government,
the rights of human nature, and the laws of
God, by importing and enslaving the unoffend
ing people of Africa.
In 1839 thoy imported a cargo of these inof
fensive viotims to Havana, in the island of Cu
ba. Aocording to the pro tf exhibited before
the Jndioial Department of Government, they
were seised in Africa, about the middle of April,
by foroe carried on board the slave ship, and
on tho 12th June of that year they were land
ed in Havana and imprisoned in the harraooons
of that city.
On the 22J of that month, Dim Pedro Mon
te* obtained a license, or permit, from the Gov
ernor Gennral, to transport thre.^ u Ladtnocs,''
or legal slaves, from Havana to Principe, on the
south side of the island; and on the 27th of the
same month, Jose Ruiz obtained a similar per
mit to transport f irty-nine " Lodinoes," or legal
slaves, to the same port. These permits were
obtained, at all times, by paying toe customary
fee to the revenue. They were in themselves
logal, giving liberty to transport only slaves ;
ami the fraud <xm?iste>d in transporting Afri
cans who were free, under the permits to trans
port slaves. The pnrmiu* were oooclasive evi
dence of the payment of the duty, as between
the Government on the one side and Montes
and Rui> on the other. But these Africans
were in no way parties to these permits, koew
nothing of their being granted: and I need not
say thetr right* could not be affected in any
way by them. Every member will at once see
they wore in no respect admissible evidence
against the negroes, who had been imported in
fraud, and in vtolati.tn of Spanish treaties and
Spanish laws.
I mention those facts at this time for the rea
son that, in all the litigation of this claim be
fore the courts, all the attorneys and agents
who have advocated it rely solely upon these
permits, not to show that the duties were act
ually |>aid, but to show that Montes and Roii
at a subsequent day, shipped ' Ladiooes, or
legal slaves, under the authority of those per
mits. The attempt is to mako these permits
testimony of tho subsequent conduct of Montec
and R.iii. And I apprehend the Chairman of
the Committee on Foreign Affairs [Mr. Baylyj
will bo compelled to rely upon these permits,
instead of showing us proof of tho fact that
these people had been actually held in Cuba
as legal slaves. I bespeak his attention to this
r)int. II thev had been long resident in Cuba,
trust he will give us the nroof. Let us have
the de|rt>sition* of those who owned them, for,
if they had been owned there, soirto -ne must
have owned them, and we want his evidence, or
that of some person who knows tho faot.
Now, I trust the gentleman will not follow
the example of his predecessor, who gave ns
the certificate of some individual unknown to
us, who states that Monte* and Ruic were hon
ortible men. I look upon such evasions as no
oompliment to the common sense of this body,
or to that of the people, whose money they seek 1
to anply in payment of this claim
Montes and Roiw are shown to have pnr
ohiued theHi people with the full kuowledge
that they were Airmitnu, newly imported, tuid,
of course free by the law, of Spam. Indeed!
they could not be ignorant of that faot. Theao
mueramo victims, at the time Montez and
I^rch?8ed could not utter a word
or the Spanish language; their dialect, manner,
and apjtearanoe, Hhowed them to have recently
come from the African ooast. Such evidence
no (.^uban could uiiHunderatand.
But to proceed with the Btatement of fact* :
Ua the 28th of June, just sixteen days alter
Uioy had b?en imprisoned in the barracoonsat
Havana, they were taken therefrom and Hhio
pod on board the ? Ami?tad," which tailed for
Principe on the name day, with a crew com
posed ol the captain, two sailors, and a cook
Montiz and Ruiz were also on board.
On the 1st day ot July, whilo sailing along
the eastern ooaat of the island, the Africans
rose aud claimed their freedom. The captain
and cook attempted to reduce them to subj-o
tion and were hI^Iu ; M.joteg and Ruiz. ind
the tw.' sailors, nurrendercd the ship to the
Africans. They immediately sent the sailors on
?hore in the boat, and retaining Montez and
Ruti on board, directed them to steer the whip
or Africa, But, during the darkness of night,
Ji ..cli! r * r ?'mrrt0 northwardly, und t.n
the 26th ot August, being sixty daye from the
time ol leaving Havana, they came to aud,or
ott the Connecticut coast, near the eastern
fihoro of Long Inland.
While the vesrel was thus riding at auchor,
Lieut Gedney, of tho hhip Washington en
gaged in the coast survey of tho United States,
took possesion of her, and of the cargo and
people ou board, and carried them into the port
of New London. F
Dates at this point will bo found material,
before I cloee my remarks; and 1 a*k tho at
tention ol the Committee particularly to the
faot that on the 29th of August, 1839?beinif
precisely two months and one day from the
tune ot leaving the port of Havana?Montez
it ? the,r 0,aun in the District Court
of the United States, demandiug these Africans
as their slaves
Ou the 19ih September, 1839, the Africans
Hied their answers to tho claim of Montez and
Kuiz, setting forth the fruits as I have related
them, and deuying that they were or over had
been slaves U) Montez aud Ruiz, or to auy other
person ? but that they were and ever had been
free.
Hero I will remark that the Africans were
strangers in a strange land, ignorant of any
language save their native dialect, without
friends, without influence, and without money.
One would have reasonably supposed that tho
sympathies of all men and all Government ofli
cors would have been onlisted in favor of thews
{Norsocutcd exiles, who had been thus torn from
their homes, their country, their kindred and
friends. 1 he dictates of our nature are in fa
vor of the oppressed, the friendless, of those
who are incapablo of dotondmg thoir own
rights.
Vet I feel bumbled as an American, when I
say that the President sent orders to the Uni
ted States Attorney for the district of L'onnec
, ticut, dirooting him to appear before tho court.
Will in the name of the Spanish Ministor to
demand these Africans, in order that they may
I their pretonded owners.
This order was complied with; proofs wore
taken , the oase was prepared by able oounsel,
i who apjHjared for the slave dealers, and fully
argued it before the District Court. A ship
was sent into the vicinity, where the court was
sitting, with directions that if a decree were
pronounoed against the Africans, they should
be hurried on board and sent to Cuba, to be
garrotcd and gibbeted, without waiting for
them to appeal to a higher oourt
I mention this fact as illustrative of the nian
i n?r, Jn whij'h the Executive influence was
Wielded against these down trodden strangers.
It is dtie to those who come after us, that these
truths be plaood upon tho record of our dc
bates, in order that posterity may understand
, J16*1 ttn,l feelings which guide statesmen
of the present age.
But,^ thanks to that Providence which gave
us a Government of laws, instead of the will
of a despot, to control the fate of freemen, the
oonrt, after the most patient hearing and con
sideration of the case, found the Africans to
have been itnp.rt.vi in violation of the treaties
and laws of Spain?that they were freemen,
aud not slaves to M>>nte? and Ruii, or to any
other person?and ordered them to be set sit
liberty.
We should have supposed that this solemn
decision of an authorixed tribunal would have
Mtti-fied the Executive; but an appeal w.is
taken to the Circuit Court. The decree of the
j Dutrtat Court, however, wa? reaffirmed in the
Urcuit Court, and nn appeal was taken to the
Supreme Court of the United States. Here, sir
in this Capitol, the cam was again argued, be
fore the highest judicial tribunal of the nation.
The Attorney General appeaird on behalf of
the hlare-dcaling pirate*, and all the influence
of his reputation, his official character, and of
the Rxeoutive, was again wielded in favor of
this Spanish slave trade The whole oase was
a^atn argued and oonsidcrod, and the decree
of the District Court was again affirmed. But
c in do no better here than to quote tho words
of the court, who, in making tho decision said:
' It is plain, beyond controversy, if we ex
amine the evider.ee, that thnw negroes never
were the lawful slaves of Ruix or Montet, or
of any other Spanish subjects They are na
tives of Africa, and were kidnapped there, and
were unlawfully transported to Cuba, in viola
tion of the laws and treaties of Spain, and the
most solemn edict* and declarations of that
Government By these laws, and treaties, and
ndiota the African slave trade is utterly abol
ished ; tho dealing in that trade is deemed a
heinous crime ; an 1 the negroes thereby intro
duced inlo the dominions of Spain are declared
to l?e free. Ruix and Monti x are proved to
have mads the pretended purchase of these
negroes, with a full knowledge of all the cir
cumstances. And co cogent and irrosintible is
the evidence in this respect, that the District
Attorney has admitted in open oourt, upon the
record, that these negroes were native Africans,
and recently imported into Cuba, a? alleged in
their answers to the libels in the case "
Now, sir, I a?k tho gentleman from Virginia
[Mr Bayly.) when he reports his hill to reverse
this decision, to show that those judges, learned
in the law, did not nnderstand tho case, that
they wore ignorant of their duties ; that they
did not comprehend the testimony.
When, sir, he attempt* to reverse this solemn
decision, 1 trust he will show the error on which
he relies. It he denies that these Africans were
freemen?that the court were deceived on this
noint?I desire him to show the fact. I hope
he will make it plain to our comprehension.
If he denies this fact, I tru>t he will also
show that the District Attorney, who admitted
them to have been recently' imported, and
therefore free, and nm misunderstood
the facte?-did not comprehend the proof*?was
ignorant of his duties f trust he will make
those things plain, before he asks us to vote for
his hill.
But, sir, 1 call the attention of this body to
the fact, that the Executive of the United State*
selected the Judicial branch of Government to
decide tliin olttim. Under bin directions it wuh
prosecuted before .ill our principal courts
commencing with the District, and risiug to
the Supreme Court. These tribunal,, spent
much time in the examination, and each and
all of them have pronooneod it ground'ess des
titute of merit, and unworthy of our Attention
And now, Mr. Ch urman, the Promdent, who
has never distinguished himsolf a* a jurist, to
my kyowledunder taken to amure uh that it
ih a meritorious claim, notwithstanding all
these decisions of a oo-or.)inate branch of Gov
ernment. He says, in distinct language, that
this 11 aim is b> heved to rest on the ohl,gat?ma
imposed hy our existing treaties with that Gov
ernment) wlnlo these courts say, in equally
emphatic language, that there is no treaty
wh cli imponcs snob obligations upon uh
Here, sir i. an issue lietween the Executive
and the Judicial department of Government,
and the President appeals to the Legislative
branch to sustain him I do not think the history
of the country furnishes a precedent for this
state of things. The Provident taken the part of
tno slave dealers, the court stands by the Con
stitution, by the law*, and hy the rights of hu
manity. n
But, sir, the President insisls that wo shall
investigate the ohho, and pronounce our judg
ments in regard to its merits. That has beer,
done. It is uow some sx years since this claim
Was presented to tho consideration of this body.
I he usual bill making appropriations fur the
civil and diplomatic expenses of Government,
pa>wd this House and wa* to the Senate.
That hody amended it b. ting an appro
priation oi $.50,000 to i o.fy these slave
dealers. It came back to La. hall, thus amend
ed, lor our concurrence.
My venerable and ever-lamented friend, John
Qmncy Adams, was then just lingering upon
the coutines of life; he was pale and trembling
under tha weight of nearly four score years;
his vo^ce was so weak that he was able to
mako himself heard at the distance of only a
ilfa ? "f ti k nJ C,CU8W(1 to mingle in the de
bates of Uiis hall; he had, however, been fa
miliar with all the details of thiB pretended
claim, aud when he saw his country about to
be disgraced by contributing the puhl.c funds
to the payment of these Spanish slave dealers,
for the failure of ihair anticipated speculations
in human flesh, his spirit was stirred within
him, and he once more, and for the last time,
rose in defence of his country's honor, in de
fencc of humanity. Members from the dis
tant parts of the hall left their seats and gath
ered around him, iu order to catch the last
words oi the venerable statesman. The re
porters, unable to hear him, rushed into the
seats ot members, and crowded near, to give to
the country as much as 1>0*?ihle of the last
specch of the greatest man then living. He
spoke briefly, but continued bis remarks until
effort "J8teni aPf* ared to sink under the
The vote was taken, and I think there were
not hvo voices heard in favor of the amend
ment. Mem tiers an^ared astonished that
suoh a claim should have been presented to an
enbghteuei people. But the President savs it
has never been finally acted upe n. Well, sir,
I know of no way in which it can be Anally
aeted upon, until the final day of all things
shall come. \ et, I apf rehend, the President
was not aware that it had been rejected by
this body, ttruj that, too, by a vote which should
forever have set the matter at rest, This an
peal of the President fn in that decision to the
judgment or the present House of Representa
tives. is of itself diitiesprctful to the Leg ml a
tureol the nation. I protest agdnstit. His
pic.boossor was dissat sfied with the decision
of the Judiciary, and appealed to Congress
, he appeal was heaid in ibis hall, and dis
missed hy an almost unanimous vote; and
I now the President desire* us to reverse that
deo.Hon of our own body. Are the members
i ot the pmont House of Representatives more
competent than th<?*e who then occupied their
"?Mi Are we more intelligent, more honest,
more patriotic, or more familiar with the facts
than they acre ?
The I re-id. nt ap|iears not fo hare powaseJ
i H1" P?!*' degreee of information on this sol.
ject I do not believe th it be or bia Cabinet
. an have examined it with that . are or attcn
| tion which the Courts bestowed u[*>n it. I say
this for the reason that he states in his message.
I u?' " ."'a'"1 ?" believed to rest on the
obligations imposed hyowrrmfrng treaty with
Spain.'' In what treaty ? In what article of any
treaty' Th# rcjort of a former committee of
this House masted that the 8th, 9th or 10th
articles of our treaty with Spain, of 1795, irn
posed upon os that duty. The Oommittee d d
j ?(* know in irhich artiole n<?r in which rlaum
of either article such obligUi.*! could Ik
round. The Supieme Court, however, as 1
have already remarked, looked very carefully
through that treaty, and all other treaties be
twe. n Spain and the United States, and upon
solemn consideration declared that no such
duty exited under that or any other treaty
That Court, sir, was composed of nine able
Judges, learned in the law; they had listened
to the most eminent counsel of the United
v Ktes, and. after full deliberation, were clearly
of opinion that no such obligation existed un
der any treaty. And, sir, I have more c .nfi
| dence in the opinion of thosA judges, in relation
j to <Hir treaty stipulations, than I have in the
opinion of tho President.
Well, sir, the President in?i*ts that we are
bound by treaty to pay for the bodie* of the-*?
Africins; and I wish to say to the Chairman
: of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, that when
he draws up his report, I hope he will inform
"V? article, the section, nnd cla.i?\ in
which ho finds such obligation ? | hoj.e the
gentleman will be specific on this point
Mr Bati.t. | shall he very likely to do that.
Mr. Giomaos. I take the gentleman at bis
word, and will hold him to bis promise.
The 9ih article of our treaty of 1795 stipu
Intos, that "when a ship and metohandise of
either nation -hall 1* rescued out of the hands
of p,rates or robbers, it shall be delivered over
to the owner, on sufficient proof? Now. the
C^.urt said, in order to bring the law within
thai, article, it nuist be shown that tho negroes
were menknnditr ' and had been rescued out
of the hands of pirates or robbers; neither of
whioh could he true; for it h?d been clearly
proved, and was admitted by the attorney for
the United States upon the record, that the
negroes were Africans recently im|sirted, and
thereFiirr f,e< men, and not slaves, and even in
I siavcholding l.mguage conjd not >?e reg .rded
as merchandise.
Sec.m.lly, that being freemen, and not (?lavi's
thev had a perfect right, by the laws of Nature
and of Nature's tJ(.d. to their libeTtj. Vet, in
i opposition to these plain dictates ol our judg
ment, and in defiance of that branch of Gov
ernment which, by tho Constitution, is autho
rised fo give construction to our treaty stipula
| tions, the President insists that we are obligated
to pay these slave dealers for the blood an<1
bones and sinews of those freemen.
1 [to wr. roKct.rnien to morrow J
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